Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Little Blue Sweater.

I was a preschooler when I first heard about this sweater. One early winter evening, when the snow lying in the yard shone into the windows of our apartment, my mother told me about a little sweater that her dear late mother made. It was so blue it seemed like a piece of sky in her hands; my mother would sit and watch her mother and wait for it to be finished. The knitting needles clicked away; light flashed off their metal tips as the forget-me-not blue yarn sped through the needles and fingers. My mother could not wait for it to be ready! She was getting such a lovely thing! And finally it was ready and she had it and she wore it at last. She loved it.

The memory of that little sweater glowed in the kitchen of our 6os apartment and etched itself into my mind. My mother’s vivid recollection of watching her own mother – who died just two years after she made this sweater – fired up my imagination. The wool must have been the brightest and the bluest, the yarn made from the softest fluff little fingers ever touched.

Forty years later I found two photos of my mother's wearing the sweater – she appears to be about four years old. In one she is alone, grinning impishly sideways at whomever is taking the photo, in her hands a small ball. In the other she is serious; she is standing next to her mother, an old tree trunk behind them; my mother’s whole little body leans toward her mother’s lean frame swathed in a too large, light-colored trench coat .

The amateur photo is not in focus, lower left corner is overexposed. It is difficult to make out the knitting pattern. The sweater has oval or rectangular bumps lined up in perfect columns and rows, not staggered. May be they are little purl bricks with single rows of knits and single columns of knits separating them. May be it is the dishcloth patterns with knits leaping down a few rows to make the vertical lines. May be it is some other knit-purl combination. I searched for this pattern in the Barbara Walker’s treasuries, and in other stitch dictionaries; a few seemed a possiblility. I will swatch them, and then I will scrunch up my eyes to blur them to see if they resemble the pattern in the out of focus photo.

The wool I imagine to be a three-ply sport weight yarn. Wool, because there were no synthetics at that time. Sport weight, because of the fine pattern that is just visible in the photo.
The color will be the easiest to chose – I will take my mother to a yarn store and ask her to pick the closest shade to what she remembers.
The sweater itself is a simple little sweater slightly bloused over a 5-6 cm ribbing at the waist and shorter ribbing at the cuffs of the elbow-length sleeves. The sleeves are set in the regular armholes. There appears to be a single pompom at the neck – more likely there were two, attached with a twisted cord for neck ties, but the photos blurred them into one. There is a small stand up or folded over collar.

Don't ask me why, but I will make it.

1 comment:

  1. Oh oh oh! I've never seen this photo or know anything about this sweater. I want to know more when I'm there, see the pictures too.

    Good to see more blogging here. I thought you'd stopped you were away for a while. Now I have to catch up!